You’ve probably heard the expression all fun and no play makes for a dull time ... or something like that. That’s certainly the case for today’s families. We spend so much time scheduling this and that, and registering for this activity and that activity and shuttling kids here and there.
And when we’re not doing all this planning and travelling to get to all that we’ve planned, there’s eating (mostly on the run) after mom and/or dad get home from work, then cram in an hour or so for homework before bedtime.
Kinda like this family.
I think we can all identify with this kind of busy-ness. And even if we’re not scheduled to the hilt, we still believe in running a home that’s full of structure and rules. But while those are definitely needed — kids need a predictable bedtime routine for instance — have we gone too far and scheduled family fun time out of the equation altogether?
Just like we parents need downtime from all the things going on around us, so do our kids. And so do we, as families. So many families spend their time apart — possibly still within the same house, as rarely as that seems to happen, but so often in different rooms doing activities that don’t involve anybody else.
This kind of schedule just runs on and on until finally parents look at each other and realize they don’t know their kids anymore, or each other.
Just like moms and dads need to keep the romance in their relationship, they need to keep the fun in families. Families should not be just about keeping on schedule. Families need fun time, bonding time. Time when there are no expectations placed on them except having fun.
Family fun needs to be a family priority from the beginning since “family bonding teaches children how to get their parents’ attention through good behaviour instead of bad.” (4) This implies that one of the factors affecting bad or challenging childhood behavior is this vying for attention.
We spend so much time running from activity to activity and teaching our kids to entertain themselves, and yet spend so little time actually interacting and playing with them ...